Written by Carrie Beth Wallace
Throughout this year, the social and economic landscape of our nation has continued to prove volatile. The arts as a whole are enduring great economic trepidation as COVID-10 continues to ravage the nation. Simultaneously, a call for social justice within our industry has finally forced those in leadership to rise to the occasion and forge a path toward improved diversity and inclusion across the board.
Diversity and inclusion are both necessary and upon us. Economic stability for the arts is also essential. Much is required for the industry's crisis mitigation efforts to successfully bring us out of these depths and into the future - whatever that may look like. The pervasiveness of the work that must be done is overwhelming, but it is crucial. It will undoubtedly take all of us, in places big and small, at every professional level, across every region, taking intentional steps forward, together.
So, how can we stay informed and equipped to advocate from a position of awareness? How can we keep up with the State of the Arts in our nation? Can we move away from the emotional rollercoaster of our opinion-ridden newsfeeds, and into a more intentional position of advocacy? I know I speak for our entire staff when I say that we can - and we should.
Though certainly not an exhaustive list, here are 4 resources our staff is following to track the State of the Arts in our nation. Our hope is that they begin numerous lasting, essential, and progressive conversations about how we can all advocate for the arts in our community and beyond.
Americans for the Arts
"Americans for the Arts serves, advances, and leads the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America. Founded in 1960, Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education."
If you're new to seeking out research data on the arts, Americans for the Arts is a perfect place to start. Right now, we're particularly tracking their survey entitled Economic Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Arts and Cultural Sector. On their interactive dashboard, you can view the exact economic impact to date as well as other helpful categories of data they're tracking every week.
Playbill's Industry News section is incredibly helpful for staying informed on the current state of the theatre industry. The section tackles everything from movements for social justice in theatre, to economic impact, and cancelling/rescheduling of major tours and Broadway shows.
American Alliance of Museums
"The American Alliance of Museums' mission is to champion museums and nurture excellence in partnership with our members and allies."
If fine art is your thing, a great resource to stay informed with is the American Alliance of Museums. Their Directory of Resources covers a wide array of topics including everything from Centering diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion to Economic relief and Museum advocacy.
Though I'd wager most of our audience is familiar with NPR, one thing that's helped our team keep tabs on everything this year is their variety of news sections on the arts. Whether you're looking for information about what's happening in the music industry, other areas in the performing arts , or news about art & design, NPR has it all.